“It’s about the 100,000 women speaking out together and standing up and changing things”

Laura Bates

Better Angels podcast, Girls' education, International Women's Day, Sarah Brown, What is advocacy?

The idea was simple. Launch a website to allow women and girls to share stories about how they suffered harassment, discrimination and inequality – just for being female.

Over the next three years, more than 100,000 women from across the world told about their experiences at EveryDay Sexism. And Laura Bates found herself as the unexpected figurehead of a movement.

In a special episode of her Better Angels podcast series, Theirworld President Sarah Brown talks to Laura, who is now in demand as a writer, speaker and commentator.

“Back in 2012 when we started it, when I tried to use the word sexism, I came up against a brick wall,” says Laura.

“People said ‘No, sexism doesn’t exist anymore, women are equal now.’ But that wasn’t the reality being reflected by the stories I was hearing from girls and women in their daily lives.

“I didn’t think we could set out to solve a problem if people didn’t acknowledge it existed in the first place.”

Sarah – who wrote the introduction to Laura’s EveryDay Sexism book – asks her about young women’s views on gender inequality.

Laura Bates Being Interviewed On Bbc About Her Everyday Sexism Work

“I’m very hopeful that there is a growing movement of young people, of young activists and students leaders and student groups,” says Laura.

“They are doing a huge amount to raise awareness about this in a way that feels very exciting and definitely more so than when I was at school and university. Having said that, I think there is still a long way to go.”

On the future, Laura says her project is “a lifetime’s work” and adds: “The idea that we’ll have achieved gender equality in my lifetime still seems fairly distant and unlikely.”

She says the strength of the EveryDay Sexism Project is in the 100,000 female voices.

“If you read them they are so powerful,” she adds. “They’re witty. They’re vulnerable. And they’re courageous.

“It isn’t really about me or one person doing it – it’s about women speaking out together and standing up and changing things.”

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Sarah talks to politicians, entertainers, activists and world leaders about their inspiration, their hopes and their dreams at a time of enormous international upheaval.

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